TANG ILY (RIGHT)
Senior Manager, Office of Human Resources

Lee Sing Ee
Senior Assistant Director (Academic Affairs), NUS Medicine
OE heroes: Enhancing staff recruitment process

A team of NUS staff tasked to undertake an Organisational Excellence (OE) project have become fast friends as they focus on a common vision to improve administrative processes relating to academic recruitment. 

The HR Academic Recruitment project is headed by Initiative Owner (IO) Tang Ily, Senior Manager from OHR, and co-IO Lee Sing Ee, Senior Assistant Director (Academic Affairs) from NUS Medicine, who have been with the University for 29 years collectively. The team also comprises Khim Yeo, Senior Associate Director (Academic) from NUS Business School; and Lim Siow Peng, Associate Director (Human Resources) from NUS Engineering.

The team is currently reviewing the hiring and reappointment processes for about 3,500 research staff, who are on contract employment of up to three years. Come 2019, the NUS community can expect to see simplified and harmonised processes such as those that reduce administrative work from application to appointment.

Ily shared that their collaboration was an eye-opener to all. “We get to see things from different perspectives, from Central Admin as well as Faculty-level, when each team member brings unique viewpoints to the discussion,” she said.

This has helped us to see the inter-relationship of our work, not only vertically on how Central Admin’s policies affect the Faculties, but also horizontally among different administrative functions including HR, finance, IT and others.

One main challenge the group faced was setting aside a common time for meetings as members come from different departments. As Sing Ee explained, “We have to juggle our daily work with the OE project. It wasn’t easy and we eventually agreed to set aside one day a week to diligently meet and discuss the project.”

The OE project has brought the team members closer such that they could discuss personal matters freely beyond project issues. Ily and Sing Ee, for example, would have lunch together after the team meetings where besides discussing about the OE project, they would also exchange information on how to better juggle work and family life.

From left: Tang Ily; Lim Siow Peng, Associate Director (Human Resources) from NUS Engineering; Khim Yeo, Senior Associate Director (Academic) from NUS Business School; and Lee Sing Ee  

Sing Ee is confident that their hard work will make an impact to many colleagues, especially the academic staff. “They can then focus on what they do best – academic work!” she quipped. 

OE is a strategic initiative undertaken by the University to develop best practices for an efficient and world-class administration to better support NUS’ Vision and Mission. It aims to bring about improved work processes and policies as well as create opportunities for talent development and growth.